Sunday, July 20, 2014

Spiritually Speaking

Last Sunday evening I had the opportunity to speak to the high school youth group at our church.  I've done it quite a few times before at Horizon church (in Roseville, CA), but it has been several years since then.

I could probably spend a couple hours on a lesson/discussion and put a decent one together that way, but I can't help but try my best to pursue perfection with it.  I pontificate and pray over which topic to pursue.  When I finally make a decision about a topic then I write a basic outline.  Next comes collecting information and researching Bible verses.  Then reorganizing and rewriting several times.  For this topic I also put together slides and downloaded video clips to include with them.  At Horizon we didn't have a projector or computer in the youth room, so this is the first time I was able to make slides to go with the discussion.  While I love the extra dimension that multimedia provides, it also adds additional preparation time, especially since I reorganized and edited the slides as much or more than I did the verbal portion of the presentation.  When taking all of the steps and also my perfectionism into consideration, it becomes a long and painful preparation process.

In the end though, I was pretty happy with the result.  I think/hope the topic was interesting and relevant, and I felt comfortable with the presentation.  I think I spoke loudly enough, moved around a bit while I was speaking, hopefully avoided the ugly filler words (um, uh, etc.), and I issued a challenge for the kids that can not only grow their faith further but also impact the world more.  My biggest self-criticism is that it may have gone a little long in duration (although I'm not sure what I would have eliminated from it).

I still need to get feedback from Brian, the youth leader, but overall I think it went well.  It took a lot of time and effort, but between this speaking experience and the other ones that I've had, I would venture to say that public speaking may be one of my favorite things to do in life, especially when I have a topic/idea that I am passionate about (which is always the case with my faith) and a presentation that I'm happy with.  I absolutely love the feeling of imparting a new perspective and having the potential to positively influence people spiritually.

Special thanks goes to Brian Rogers for trusting me enough to speak to the 2-3 dozen kids at our church, and to God for giving me the topic/ideas to speak about.
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